The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge), Winona District is urging boaters to take precautions in the coming days regarding flooding on the Mississippi River. Boaters should be vigilant as flood waters will have significantly changed conditions at traditional access, camping, and day-use sites. Excessive current, turbid water, and submerged and floating hazards should be expected in the river over the coming days.
Boaters should also be prepared to locate alternative boat ramps to access the Mississippi River between Wabasha, MN and Trempealeau, WI as ramps may be closed due to flooding. Landings are closed when water levels submerse the ramp and/or dock, cover any portion that is asphalt, or obscure the concrete curbing from view. Refuge personnel are constantly evaluating river conditions to determine when refuge boat ramps can be opened for public use.
Based on current and predicted water levels, the following boat landings are either currently closed or expected to be closed soon to vehicular access: Indian Slough, Beef Slough, and Pontoon Slough located on Hwy 25 between Wabasha, MN and Nelson, WI; Peterson Lake and Halfmoon located near Kellogg, MN; Weaver at Weaver, MN; Verchota and McNally on the Prairie Island Dike near Minnesota City, MN; and Mertes’ Slough on Hwy 54/43 near Winona, MN.
Questions regarding the availability of boat ramps can be addressed by leaving a message at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, 507-454-7351. In compliance with the current Minnesota Shelter In Place Order, this number is unmanned but checked daily for messages.